Take your pick: What are the different methods of contraception?

Take your pick: What are the different methods of contraception?

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01 December 2023 . 3 min read


Navigating the world of contraception can be so overwhelming sometimes! "Which method is right for me?" "How effective are they?" "Do they have other benefits?" With a myriad of choices available, it's essential (and empowering!) to understand your options. Whether you're a newbie to the contraception game or just revisiting your choices, having clarity is key. After all, this is about your body, choices, and peace of mind. So, let's dive in, break things down, and simplify the complex.

Let’s start with the basics: What are contraceptive methods?"

Contraception, also casually referred to as birth control, is the way to go when you're looking to prevent any unexpected baby news. Whether you fancy a pill, a device, or even a surgical procedure, there's something out there for everyone. And guess what? You might not even need to swing by your doctor for a prescription for some of these methods.

What are the Different Methods of Contraception?

1. Barrier method

Think of this like a goalkeeper blocking a goal in soccer. These methods block sperm from getting to the egg, which prevents pregnancy and can be used by men and women.

A. Condoms
You may have questions like 'What is the use of condoms?' or 'What are condoms used for?'. Here's what you should know. They are protective sheaths worn over men's penis (external) or placed into the vagina (internal) for women. They promote safe sex by preventing STDs like HIV. Male condoms are 98% effective, and female condoms are 95% effective.

B. Contraceptivesponge
This foam-like material with spermicide (a sperm-killing chemical) covers the cervix. It is inserted into the vagina before intercourse but does not protect against STDs.

C. Diaphragm
They are circular silicone devices placed inside the vagina, covering the cervix. They can be kept in place for at least 6 hours (but not longer than 24 hours), removed and cleaned after sex. They can be reused for up to 2 years.

D. Cervical cap
It is a rubber or silicone cap which comes in various sizes and fits snugly over the cervix.

E. Spermicide
When placed in the vagina and near the cervix, spermicide kills sperm, preventing pregnancy. It can be used alone or with barrier methods. It takes 15 to 30 minutes to work, and its effects last about 6 hours.
Using a diaphragm or a cervical cap with spermicide? You're looking at a protection rate between 92% and 96%.

2. Hormonal contraception

  1. Contraceptive pills: what is a contraceptive pill? Oral tablets containing progesterone or a combination of progesterone and oestrogen are taken daily. They prevent ovulation and thicken cervical mucus to prevent the sperm from meeting the egg during fertilisation.
  2. Contraceptive patch: this is like a sticker on your skin that sends hormones into your body.
  3. Vaginal ring: it's a soft, thin, flexible ring in your vagina, giving your body hormones like oestrogen and progesterone.
  4. Contraceptive injection: you can get a shot of progesterone (depot medroxyprogesterone acetate) in your muscle.

These hormonal cy.

3. Long-acting reversible contraceptive methods (LARCs)

A. An intrauterine device (IUD) is inserted into the uterus. There are two types:

  • A hormonal IUD releases progesterone to thicken the cervical mucus and prevent sperm from reaching the egg.
  • A copper IUD releases copper, affecting sperm mobility and preventing sperm from fertilising the egg.

B. A contraceptive implant is a flexible rod inserted under the skin of the upper arm, releasing progesterone into the blood.

These are 99% effective in preventing pregnancy.

4. Permanent methods of contraception

These methods are used when the family is complete and are 99% effective.

  • Females undergo tubal ligation, where the fallopian tubes are cut and tied to prevent the egg from meeting the sperm.
  • Males undergo a vasectomy, which prevents sperm from entering the semen.


Knowledge is power. When looking at the different methods of contraception, pick what feels right for you. Remember, we're all different, so what works for one might not work for another. Stay safe and informed!